Confronting death with music, determination, and grace, too.
It’s hard to think of a band that embodies Canada more than The Tragically Hip. They write about our small towns, about our strange little histories, about love and politics and nature and culture and everything in between. There are even two guys named Gordon — anecdotally agreed to be the most Canadian name — in the band. They’ve played together for 33 years, released 16 albums, won more than a dozen awards and sold out stadiums in Canada year after year after year. Outside of their home country, most people don’t know they exist. The Tragically Hip, or as you might know them “Who?” Image via George Pimentel/Canada for Haiti via Getty Images. There’s a popular theory that at least part of the reason for this is that whenever The Hip played shows in America, expat Canadians would buy up all the tickets. Maybe that’s true. Canadians share a lot of stuff with our southern neighbors — some of it we’re intermittently sorry about — but The Hip is ours. I can’t recall a shared national moment quite like this. #TheHip themselves may not have known what they’ve meant to us. — Tom Harrington (@cbctom) August 21, 2016 So when Gord Downie — The Tragically Hip’s lead singer and Canada’s unofficial poet laureate — was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Canadians were crushed.But Downie knew exactly what he wanted to do with the time he had left.For four weeks, he and his band toured across Canada. They played 15 shows, one every two days, traveling across the country from British Columbia to their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. It’s a place where, as Downie joked during the concert, they played their first three shows ever for audiences of 14, 28, and six people, respectively. On Aug. 20, 2016, The Hip played their final show live for a stadium audience of 6,700 people — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Image via Arthur Mola/Invision/AP. Thousands filled the Kingston Town Square and other p
How sibling reading time can make a huge difference in their education.
Often, our brothers and sisters become our first peer group sort of by default.For some of us, sibling relationships are the longest relationships we’ll ever experience. And by interacting with our siblings early on, we learn social skills, like how to manage conflicts (anyone else fight over who gets to sleep next to mom?), how to play, how to share, how to navigate the world, and even how to read. Photo taken at the Salinas Valley Grows Readers event. Image by Read to Me Project, used with permission. In fact, our siblings could make the biggest difference when it comes to reading.That’s the whole idea behind the Read to Me Project, which encourages elementary school children to read to their younger siblings — even siblings who are as young as eight months old.As part of the program, books are donated to schools that choose to participate, and kids can take those books home. They’re encouraged to read to their younger siblings, which helps kids boost both their knowledge of vocabulary and language and kickstarts their reading comprehension skills, too. Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images. When it comes to the older siblings, Sonia Aramburo explains the program helps them feel a sense of responsibility by taking on a whole new role as a teacher to their younger brothers or sisters. She’s the principal at El Camino Real Science and Technology Academy in Greenfield, California, one of the schools participating in the Read to Me Project.This program is much needed, especially in areas with low literacy rates.A study by the University of California Berkeley and UCLA found that Latino kids between 2 and 3 years old were about eight months behind their white peers when it came to language and cognitive skills. And according to the study, the gap continued through ages 4 and 5, with Latino students entering into kindergarten already behind their peers.The same is true for African-American kids
We need to do better.
“I’m sorry.””I wish I could have been different. I won’t disappoint you anymore.””I wish I could’ve been better…””I love you.”If those were the very last texts you read from a family member or friend — a loved one who didn’t feel as though they could truly be themselves — how would that make you feel?That’s one question posed in a new PSA from nonprofit Mythic Bridge, a group that uses filmmaking to empower at-risk youth. The organization’s “Change the Script” campaign aims to shed light on the issue of LGBTQ youth suicide — a silent crisis that’s taking far too many young lives, even amid the growing acceptance of queer people and relationships.In the powerful new video, we see the moment a desperate young man decides to jump off a rooftop (before learning that, fortunately, it wasn’t the end to his story):In the PSA, Mythic Bridge highlights a vital stat anyone concerned with youth suicide needs to understand: Young LGBTQ people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight, cisgender peers, with young transgender people being particularly vulnerable.That’s why the nonprofit is raising funds on Crowdrise to help LGBTQ youth express themselves through creative storytelling in an accepting, loving environment — so they can help change the script when it comes to things like suicide, bullying, and depression. Photo via Mythic Bridge, used with permission. “Everyone has their version of how scary coming out was,” Mythic Bridge co-founder Donald Klein said in a statement. “Maybe they didn’t have that safe space to lean on.””I hope they see the Change the Script campaign and learn that Mythic Bridge is an open door. They should understand that we’re here, and we make no judgment.”To learn more about the Change the Script campaign, visit its page on Crowdrise.
Production company Backyard, under the direction of Xander, produced this PSA alongside creative agencies Rabbit, Rabbit & Partners, and Happy United.
Back-to-school time has many parents rejoicing. No more paying for expensive summer camp, yippee! GIF via “Anchorman.” The one thing we don’t love about this glorious time of year, though? Yup, you guessed it: homework.And that’s a bummer, because a lot of students these days are getting more and more homework — far more than the recommended amount, which is about 10 minutes per grade level. That’s led parents all over the country and world to write about how unpleasant it is to see their little ones stressing out over piles and piles of math problems, pulling late nights, and missing out on time that could be spent reading, playing outside, or hanging with the family.Plus, we parents sometimes have to help answer questions about subjects we haven’t studied in decades, which hurts our brains.But one second-grade teacher from Texas wants to try something new with homework: not giving any.Brandy Young kicked off the new school year with a note for her kids to pass on to their parents. When it made its way to social media, it quickly went viral: Brooke is loving her new teacher already!Posted by Samantha Gallagher on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 The note reads:”Dear Parents,After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.Thanks,Mrs. Brandy Young”Her note struck a powerful chord with parents everywhere.So far, it’s been shared nearly 70,000 times by moms and dads who are tired of playing “homework police” or just want a little more quality time with their kids at night.Brandy Young is right: The research on the effectiveness of homework is a
‘After all, Southern hospitality knows no political affiliation.’
Between the presidential election and a recent streak of natural disasters, both political and environmental climates have been rather nasty so far in 2016. It’s almost as though the environment has been responding to all the political dissonance, from relentless raging fires in California to historic flooding in West Virginia, Maryland, and now southern Louisiana. Leslie Andermann Gallagher surveys the flood damage to her home. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images. Louisianans are not recovering alone, though — they have help, thanks to a rather unlikely bipartisan effort. The Texas Young Republicans and Young Democrats have set differing political views aside to unite and help their neighboring state of Louisiana. We’re teaming up with @LouisianaYRs, @ARYR & @YRNF to help flood victims. How to help: https://t.co/aG1GDgfl2k pic.twitter.com/lfA0gaGZYu— Texas YRs (@TexasYRs) August 22, 2016 Join us and @TexasYRs in sending relief to victims of the #LouisianaFlood. Because southern hospitality. https://t.co/ojeqIrNcpM— Texas Young Dems (@TexasYDs) August 23, 2016 The plan is a simple: they’ve set up an Amazon wish list for those displaced by the flooding. Anyone wanting to help can choose items from the list and send them to this address at checkout: Scott’s Drum Center, C/O Flood Relief 4956 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503.Once the Louisiana teams on the ground receive the supplies, they distribute them to the families in need. The Arkansas Young Republicans started the effort. When the Texas Young Republicans decided to lend a hand, the Texas Young Democrats reached out to president of the TYRs, John Baucum, to see if they could be of service. Photo by Brian Smialowski/Getty Images. According to TYD Communications Director Chelsea Roe, both groups have been working together in perfect bipartisan harmony since day one of the collaboration. Roe believes being a younger generation is o
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Parenting: It’s full of surprises.
Parenting can be a little stressful. There’s no checklist for how to do it perfectly.As the father of two young daughters, Doyin Richards has a lot of experience in that department. Like most parents, he hopes he’s doing it right. And like most parents, he has a little voice in his head that sometimes makes him second-guess his choices. What if he’s doing it wrong?On his 3-year-old daughter’s first trip to the dentist, Doyin was pretty worried she would freak out about the treatment. Of course, it turns out that the only person who lost their composure that day was him — when he realized she was totally fine and able to handle things herself. Which made him realize that despite all his fears, he might actually be OK at this whole dad thing. Watch Doyin try to hold it together while his daughter is totally chill at the dentist in this episode of “What Dads Do”:
“What Dads Do” is an Upworthy Original video series celebrating fatherhood. Doyin Richards is a dad and author of “I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work.” He currently lives in L.A., where he writes about fatherhood on his blog Daddy Doin’ Work and celebrates other hardworking dads on Instagram.